Ties to Auto Dealership Prompt Ethics Review of Texas Republican

Roger Williams denies his company would have benefited from amendment he offered

Texas Republican Rep. Roger Williams is under investigation for possible conflict of interest. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Office of Congressional Ethics found there is "substantial reason to believe" that Rep. Roger Williams' "personal financial interest in his auto dealership may be perceived as having influenced his performance of official duties."

The House Ethics Committee released the OCE report Thursday, along with a statement that the committee would extend its inquiry into Williams' case. It's the latest case pending before the committee without a deadline in which the panel has to make a final decision.

Williams defended his actions in a 12-page response to the committee. He denied that the amendment he offered would have benefited his company.

"He acted with a sincere belief that he was performing an ordinary and basic task of a legislator," the statement read.

Williams and his auto dealership did not participate in the OCE review, prompting the congressional agency to recommend the committee issue subpoenas.

The Texas Republican was being reviewed by OCE after he sponsored an amendment that would have allowed auto dealers to rent or loan out vehicles under recall. Williams owns an auto dealership in his home state, prompting the possibility of a conflict of interest.

House Rules prevent members from using their official capacity to benefit themselves personally.

In his floor statement, Williams identified himself as an auto dealership owner.

Contact Rahman at remarahman@cqrollcall.com or follow her on Twitter at @remawriter

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